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Latest Penn State University Stories

New Research Suggests Climate Change Effect On Plant Communities Is Buffered By Large Herbivores
2013-02-20 15:00:34

Penn State Can existing ecological communities persist intact as temperatures rise? This is a question of increasing relevance in the field of climate change and is the focus of a new study to be published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London on 20 February. The study suggests that the answer to this question may have as much to do with the biological interactions that shape communities as with the effects of climate change itself. The study's insights are based on...

The Zombie-Ant Fungus Is Under Attack, Research Reveals
2012-05-03 06:23:50

A parasite that fights the zombie-ant fungus has yielded some of its secrets to an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University. The research reveals, for the first time, how an entire ant colony is able to survive infestations by the zombie-ant fungus, which invades an ant's brain and causes it to march to its death at a mass grave near the ant colony, where the fungus spores erupt out of the ant's head. "In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the...

Image 1 - New Device Can Turn Wastewater Into Electricity
2012-03-05 05:52:34

Researchers from Penn State University claim that they have developed a prototype device that can use wastewater to create electricity, essentially transforming treatment stations into power plans. Lead researcher and engineering professor Bruce E. Logan and his colleagues have combined microbial fuel cells (which can use wastewater and naturally occurring bacteria to generate electricity) and reverse electrodialysis (which creates power from the differences in salt concentration between...

2012-01-18 21:38:03

A novel technique has been developed and demonstrated at Penn State University to map the proteins that read and regulate chromosomes -- the string-like structures inside cells that carry genes. The specific order in which these proteins attach DNA-containing nucleosomes along the chromosome determines whether a brain cell, a liver cell, or a cancer cell is formed. Until now, it has been exceedingly difficult to determine exactly where such proteins bind to the chromosome, and therefore how...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'